The Life of Odd Facts

13 10 2008

You ever wonder why you know some of the things that you do? Why, when people ask the some of the most random things you have (on occasion) been able to answer?

Where do these facts come from? What possessed you to learn them? Sure, in High School most of what you learned was trivia. Who fought in this battle and who wrote this book, well, those aren’t things critical to your everyday life and future. Unless you’re a History or English major or you’re on a Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, but that’s another story.

But what about the stuff you know that you didn’t pick up in High School? Like the life span of medieval men and women (average: 29 for man) or that Dai Vernon was the only magician to discover the secret to one of Harry Houdini’s tricks while Houdini was alive. How did this get into your head?

Is it from being bombarded with information every hour of the day? From radio, to advertisements, to t.v.? Or is it our friends, co-workers, and strangers (who already learned the trivia from other people) that spread the knowledge? Or maybe its just the internet, which is now a constant presence in our lives. Some of the most random stuff pops up on the internet.

And yet, to play both sides, does it matter? If you have trivia, it just means it was something worth remembering. Because how often do you keep something in your memory that you don’t want to remember?

So, the fact that punctuation didn’t come around in English until the12th century must mean more than that grammar test you failed in 9th grade.

And everyone knows statistics are fun to read and will usually stick in memory. Such as, 33 percent of people polled online believe that scratching a person’s vehicle is a more effective form of revenge than burning down their house.

So why do we have such trivial knowledge stuck in our minds? How come it stays, instead of going in one ear and out the other (like an order from a boss?) I don’t know, but what I can say is that everybody is learning more everyday because of everyday things, such as t.v and internet and print items.

And what we retain and what we don’t, well that depends on the person.

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